Xi, Putin to attend November G20 summit in Bali

Xi, Putin to attend November G20 summit in Bali By A Robin - August 20, 2022
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin

Chinese and Russian leaders Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin will attend November's G20 summit on the resort island ofBali, a longtime adviser to the Indonesian president said on Friday.

Andi Widjajanto, former cabinet secretary and unofficial adviser to President Joko Widodo, who is known as Jokowi, told Reuters the two leaders would join the summit.

"Jokowi told me that Xi and Putin are both planning to attend in Bali," Widjajanto, who heads the National Resilience Institute, told Reuters.

On Thursday, Jokowi told Bloomberg News that both leaders had given him their assurances. Indonesian presidential officials did not respond to requests for confirmation of the report.

The Chinese foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. A Kremlin spokesperson declined to comment to Bloomberg, but another official familiar with the situation told the news agency that Putin planned to attend.

The trip would be Xi's first time outside China since January 2020, when he visited Myanmar.

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to attend the G20 summit but the White House has not said whether he will meet Xi.

Chinese officials are reportedly making plans for a November meeting in Southeast Asia between Xi and Biden, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council reiterated that Biden did not think Putin should attend "as he wages his war against Ukraine". But if Putin did, Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelenskiy - who Indonesia has invited - should do likewise, the spokesperson said.

Host Indonesia has invited Ukrainian Zelenskiy to attend the Bali summit

China maintains a zero-COVID policy that has all but shut its borders to international travel.

During the pandemic, Xi made his only trip outside of mainland China on June 30, visiting Hong Kong to mark the 25th anniversary of its handover from British control.

Xi is widely expected to secure a precedent-breaking third leadership term during a once-in-five-years congress of the ruling Communist Party scheduled for this autumn, most likely before he would head to Bali for the mid-November G20 gathering.

No dates have been announced for the party congress, but the last two took place in late October and early November.

As head of the G20 this year, Indonesia has faced pressure from Western countries to withdraw its invitation to Putin over his country's invasion on Ukraine, which his government calls a "special military operation".

Jokowi has sought to position himself as mediator between the warring countries, and has in recent months travelled to meet both the Ukrainian and Russian presidents to call for an end to the war, and seek ways to ease the global food crisis.

This week, Jokowi said both countries have accepted Indonesia as a "bridge of peace".

Reporting by Ananda Teresia and Tony Munroe; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor and Kate Lamb; Editing by Gerry Doyle and John Stonestreet


By A Robin - August 20, 2022

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